One of the benchmarks of graffiti documentarian Martha Cooper’s storied career and vast archive is that she was taking public art and preserving it through pictures. What is amazing is that in this context, a never-before-seen Martha Cooper photo is really tapping into a history that could have been forgotten. In this respect, BEYOND THE STREETS worked closely with Cooper to assemble over 800 photos—many pulled from dozens of boxes of slides that had not been opened since they were first shot over 40 years ago, the highlight of this two book box set and newest release that dives deep into her archive of never-before-seen images and outtakes of early 1980s NYC graffiti. 

This limited edition collection of 1,000 Box Sets includes a special hardbound version of Spray Nation signed by Martha Cooper on vellum plus the exclusive never to be reprinted softbound Outtakes book only available in this set. It’s hefty, too: The Box Set weighs over seven pounds and has a magnetic closing flat, ribbon, both books, 4 postcards and an oversized poster of the cover image of Spray Nation making this a must for any graffiti collector with the knowledge that photography has played a vital role in the collectible of the art form. That Cooper considers herself more of a visual anthropologist than documentarian gives her career a historical weight and is nourished by her insatiable appetite to continue to photograph the culture today. This is the origin story. —Evan Pricco